Li Fei, a postgraduate student from Beijing Forestry University, investigates Har Lake in 2007.
Har Lake, which dried up more than 50 years ago, has reappeared in the Gobi Desert in Gansu province.
The 24-square-kilometer body of water is 33 kilometers from Dunhuang, once a major stop on the Silk Road and famous for its Mogao Grottoes, according to a report by Science and Technology Daily.
“The spectacular view has not occurred overnight. Several years' efforts in dredging and repairing local river channels, in addition to a high level of precipitation last year, have brought the lake back to life,” said Sun Zhicheng, head of the research department at Gansu Dunhuang West Lake National Nature Reserve Administration.
At one point in time, the lake is believed to have reached 77 sq km. However, the lake dried up in the 1970s.
“Lakes and marsh areas in Dunhuang reduced in size by 66.8 percent between 1973 and 2007, which resulted in the desertification of the land,” said Yu Xinhua, deputy director of the Dunhuang water resources bureau.
Yu said Dunhuang faced increasing ecological problems because the population increased in the city's Danghe River area.
The reappearance of the lake was a result of water projects that have introduced more water to help Dunhuang improve its environment.